The Republican Experiment


By the end of this session, students will be able to:

· Explain why the 2nd Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

· Explain why many Americans became loyalists or tried to remain neutral during the revolutionary war.

· Describe the evolution of British and American military strategy during the war for independence.

· Explain the significance of the British surrender at Saratoga.

· Describe the Articles of Confederation and explain why it aroused little interest.

· Describe the character of the first state constitutions and explain the ways in which they reflected the postwar view of republicanism.


Read Chapter 6 in American: Past and Present by Robert Divine and view the chapter 6 Power Point

Helpful Web sites:

Articles of Confederation

Battle of Yorktown

Battle of Saratoga

Battle of Bunker Hill


A. Read Chapter 6 in American: Past and Present by Robert Divine and answer the following questions.

1. How successful was the Republic in implementing the goals of the Revolution?

2. What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation?

3. What role did the issue of slavery play in the Constitutional Convention?

4. How was the issue of slavery dealt with in the final version of the Constitution?

5. Describe the differences between a Federalist and an Anti-Federalist.

B. Read the hyper linked article and respond to one of the questions.

Shays Rebellion (in the attachment)

-Why did Daniel Shay rebel?

-In what forms did this rebellion shape the Constitution?

C. Movie Review Assignment

View the movie The Patriot and answer the questions listed below. There are no real right answers. Rather I want to see how you interpret various portions of the movie.

1. Why did the Colonists desire independence?

2. Describe the debate in the South Carolinian colonial legislature.

3. How would you characterize the British view of the American colonists (don’t assume rebels)?

4. Near the end of the Battle of Yorktown, shortly before he surrendered, the actor playing General Cornwallis stated, “Everything will change…everything has changed.” What does he mean?

5. How did the colonist’s defeat the British?

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